Saturday, March 19, 2011

Royal News Roundup

In the Far East, Japan continues to endure horrific suffering in the wake of the massive earthquake and tsunami as well as growing fears about a potential meltdown at one of their nuclear power plants. As readers saw, on Wednesday His Majesty the Emperor addressed the nation by a special video message recorded by the Imperial Household Agency. This was the first time the Emperor ever addressed the entire nation personally. The only other time Japan heard such an address from the Emperor was in 1945, following the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, in which the Showa Emperor announced the decision to surrender to the Allies. Far to the south in the oil-rich monarchy of Brunei the Sultan attended a meeting of the Brunei Islamic Religious Council on Tuesday at which time he said that the country needed to establish its own Islamic Criminal law code. He stressed the history of Brunei as an Islamic monarchy and questioned what more could be done to make Brunei a more purely Islamic nation.

In the Middle East, on Tuesday, HM the King of Bahrain declared a 3-month state of emergency in response to the protests that have been rocking the tiny gulf state for several weeks. Tensions were heightened when 1,000 soldiers from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates moved into Bahrain to control the protestors and suppress any anti-government activity. The Islamic Republic of Iran protested this and withdrew its ambassador from Bahrain. Across the region in Jordan things seem to be returning to normal as Queen Rania toured a number of schools established by special programs instituted by the Jordanian monarchy and met with teachers trained by her own program called the Queen Rania Teacher Academy.

In southern Europe, on Thursday Their Royal Highnesses Crown Prince Vittorio Emanuele of Italy, Princess Marina Doria, Prince Emanuele Filiberto of Venice and Princess Clotilde of Venice were in Rome for the ceremonies commemorating the 150th anniversary of the unification of Italy in 1861. They visited the tomb of the first King of Italy (Vittorio Emanuele II) at the ancient Roman Pantheon, also known as Santa Maria Rotonda. Leading Italian politicians were present for the pomp and ceremony and (we might think grudgingly) paid their respects to the official father of modern Italy after which all took in a performance of Verdi’s “Nabucco” which was a piece that is often credited with inspiring the drive for unification. Across the Mediterranean in Spain the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg found in favor of a Basque leftist terrorist who had been jailed for insulting the King of Spain after he accused the King of presiding over torture by the Spanish police. The ECHR said that the separatist’s freedom of expression had been violated and order the Spanish government to pay the terrorist 23,000 euros in compensation. With all of the laws against “hate speech” and anything politically incorrect it seems freedom of speech in Europe still applies to libel and slander so long as it is aimed at a king.

In happier news, in Monaco the Princely Palace has released a new website devoted to the upcoming marriage of the Sovereign Prince and on Thursday future Princess Charlene Wittstock met with the Monte Carlo’s Ladies Lunch (set up by Baroness de Massy in 2004) and presented a check for $39,000 to the Princess Grace Academy of Classical Dance. However, the House of Grimaldi and the Principality of Monaco were plunged into mourning on Friday when it was announced that Princess Antoinette had passed away in the early hours at the Princess Grace Hospital. The older sister of Prince Rainier III, colorful figure and noted animal lover Antoinette de Massy had celebrated her 90th birthday in December and was the senior member of the Grimaldi clan. More on all of these stories can be found at Mad for Monaco.

Crown Prince Philippe and Crown Princess Mathilde of Belgium were in Antwerp on Monday for the opening of the Erasmian European Youth Parliament, a place for young people to express their concerns on issues affecting their lives. It was also recently announced that last year Belgian King Albert II personally assisted 450 people who wrote to him for financial help, averaging about 200 euros to get individuals through a tight spot. Would politicians do this? If so you can be sure they would only lend a hand to those of their own community. Crown Princess Mathilde is also set to attend a special ten day course on leadership next week at the University of Harvard. The future Belgian queen was invited by the Forum of Young Global Leaders. In the neighboring Netherlands Princess of Orange Maxima opened a new old folks home in Zutphen on Tuesday and there was a four-day action, fit for a king as they say, as the House of Orange sold items belonging to the late Queen Juliana. Royalists bid on 1,725 lots from various palaces chosen by the children of the late monarch for the special sale.

On the British front, HRH Prince William of Wales has been visiting New Zealand where the city of Christchurch suffered a devastating 6.3 earthquake that took the lives of 166 people. The local people gave him a warm welcome and the local mayor expressed his gratitude at the concern the Prince showed by coming in their time of need. The Prince toured the damaged areas, met with rescue personnel and also met with the families of the victims of an explosion in a coal mine last November. He will also attend a memorial service before traveling on to Australia to visit the areas there that recently suffered catastrophic flooding (so many tragedies). On a similar humanitarian note, Prince William and his bride-to-be announced this week that, in place of gifts, well wishers are asked to donate to one of 26 charities the couple have chosen so that the occasion of the royal wedding can be used to help those in need at a time when so many are suffering great hardships.


  1. I believe the Emperor of Japan continues to be His Imperial Majesty - not His Majesty?

  2. Yes, yes, yes. If we're going to get technical about it, in Japanese it should be "His Majesty the Heavenly Sovereign" or "His Current Majesty". However, I have no doubt that, when I'm pounding out blog posts every day I will continue to shorten things to 'His Highness' and 'His Majesty' and I have no doubt I will continue to be reminded that there should be a royal, serene or imperial in there to be properly correct.

    If I ever meet the Emperor and forget his "imperial" I will have only myself to blame.

  3. The triple tragedies that hit Japan are truly overwhelming, even for a developed nation.

    Although the official report stated that the radioactive materials fallout from the plant poses no danger to human life, but one still cannot wonder how its cumulative effects toward the environment will eventually effect human life. After all radioactive isotopes like 137Cs, 90Sr, 238U, 239Pu can lurk in the abiotic and biotic elements for years. 131I, although short lived is also able to cause thyroid cancer.

    Still amidst the tragedies, as a monarchist I am a little happy to see that the Hinomaru is raised proudly in numerous refugee camps. Apparently, the liberals for time being at least do not feel ashamed of it.

  4. Unfortunately it does seem to take a terrible tragedy to remind people of the most sacred things that bind them altogether and in the wake of such events a healthy patriotism usually springs up. I have noticed the Hinomaru on the video coverage also (makes me hum the Kimigayo whenever I see it) and I'm sure the Emperor's broadcast touched people as well (it did me anyway, foreign barbarian that I am). Tenno Heika Banzai!


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